The 9 skills you need to teach your teens today!… to empower them for the future
The Internet is full of self-development articles: how to be efficient, how to be productive, how to be more loving, how to be rich, how to be thin…it’s big business. But mastering good habits takes patience and time, so what if they were ingrained in us from a younger age? Think about how your present would have been different if you had mastered all these skills from when you were a teenager.
Money Mastery: love makes the world go round but money gives you security. Learning the basics about saving, investing and spending is very important. Teenagers need to learn the value of money, how they can make it grow and how they can lose it. What are the risks involved in overspending? Of keeping cash in the bank? Of not diversifying? Teaching them money skills at a young age gives them security for the future.
Healthy Habits: which is worse, sugar or alcohol? What do drugs do to your brain? Can they actually be good for you? Why is it important to be strong? Will it matter in twenty years? Yes it will! Good nutrition habits take time to build. Exercise and sleep are equally important. Exercising keeps your body young and your muscles and bones strong. Endurance exercise also teaches us many life lessons and nutrition can affect our mood. Many young people are not aware of how food can directly affect their activities, their health and their mood.
Finding Focus: in order to know where you’re going, you need to know where you are. But there’s no point in being where you are if you don’t know where you’re going! It is important to have goals. Setting goals gives us purpose and moving towards them gives us confidence. Planning and sticking to the path even if hit with unexpected events gives people a sense of achievement and happiness, and more importantly, self-worth.
Thoughtful Thinking: it is in our human nature to turn away from a difficult situation but it is precisely not running away that makes progress. Keeping at a thought process even when it becomes difficult is what separates the creators from the followers and the new world is all about creativity.
Evoking Emotions: empathy, kindness, giving back and paying it forward. Young people need to know the meaning of these words and to practice them. Life is all about balance, it is about give and take. Learning what is it like to be blind, to be in a wheelchair, to be a foreigner, to have nothing, to be lonely, teaches teens to be more open and accepting of others. In turn, it teaches them to be grateful for the simple things, and keeping them happy and content through difficult years.
Nimble Negotiation: learning to listen teaches us to think and our ability to think and formulate ideas ensures we get what we want. Learning to listen first and talk later helps us understand what the other party wants and once we put ourselves in the opposing camp’s shoes, we can understand how to get what we want.
Search for Stillness: in a noisy, overcrowded world, it is important to learn how to shut off and shut down (this in turn helps with focus). It is important to go out in nature, to get closer to the earth, to our essence, to distance ourselves from a problem so that we give a chance for the solution to find us, and it often does. They say the devil gives work to idle minds, but a mind in meditation is an active mind, a focused mind and a happy mind.
Chasing Challenge: the path to happiness is continual growth and learning. We only get better by getting out of our comfort zone, by facing our fears. If we keep learning, we keep growing. Facing a challenge and overcoming it gives us strength and peace of mind by having nothing to fear but fear itself!
Daring Dreams: where would be if we did not have a place to daydream? Children need a safe haven where nothing is out of reach, where they can fly to the moon and back with wings, where they can win trophies and be the best, where they are loved and cared for. Who knows where things can lead?
These are lessons that even us adults can benefit from and many of us are having to learn most of them now. But these are not lessons that can be taught separately, they are a whole education, in and of themselves. One idea cannot exist without the other. Do your teenager a favor and teach them how they can be the best of themselves and reach for the stars. They will thank you for it one day, believe me.